Photo Album

M. and I finally were both not sick on a weekend with decent weather. We headed to the Castle Peak area at Donner Pass north of I-80, and followed the snowmobile track to Andesite Ridge and the cross country up to Andesite Peak. A cold front was through in the afternoon, so it was partly sunny and partly cloudy. It was a good thing there were snowmobile tracks most of the way up, because the deep snow was very hard going otherwise. Great views of Castle Peak (photo above) with fast-moving clouds from the top of Andesite Peak. We came down via Castle Pass and the more popular trail through Castle Valley.

Trailhead directions: take the Castle Pass/Boreal exit from I-80 just west of Donner Pass. Park in the California Sno-Park lot south of I-80, east of Boreal Ski Area. Parking permits ($5/day) are available at the Boreal Inn motel.  Walk back through the underpass to reach the trailhead on the north side of the freeway.


5.29 mi (2.16 mi uphill, 2.51 mi downhill, 0.56 mi flat)
1050 ft total ascent –
3:51:36 total time (3:13:17 moving, 0:38:19 stopped)
0:36:30 pace (1.6 mph average speed, 4.3 mph max speed)
13.5 difficulty, 22.2 effort